April 2011

Apr 26, 2011

By M. Evans, L. Hammes, W. Herberger, B. Berg, T. El Wahsh, D. Rassloff

Banking in Post-Revolution Egypt Gets Upwardly “Mobile”

Without mobile phones, the Mubarak regime might still be thriving today. But political reform and social change are not the only ripple effects of widespread mobile usage. Mobile banking stands to create a dramatic new stimulus to the Egyptian economy. In a country where remittances from foreign workers contribute US$9.5 billion annually to the economy (Bloomberg News, 2010) and transfers between relatives within the country are common, one might think that transferring funds would be easy and convenient. Transferring funds should be an accessible service in a banking system that is well regulated and thrives on the competition between 39 banks. But for most Egyptians, these basic, common transactions are far from straightforward.

Apr 26, 2011

By Kaleena Rivas, Madhavi Rao, Andrew Rivas, Amar Memon, Antonio Pérez Malpica

Background

Since their introduction in 1979, mobile phones have been constantly evolving and becoming an integral part of our daily lives. From the first generation of devices based on cellular networks to the introduction of digital technologies like GSM and SMS and all the way to ultra-fast third and fourth generation (4G) networks, mobile phones have become more powerful, have increased their capabilities and have turned into essential devices for consumers around the world.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), in September of 2010 Nokia (Symbian OS) had 40.1% of the worldwide smartphone market share followed by BlackBerry (17.9%), Android (16.3%), and Windows Phone (6.8%). The IDC predicts that by the end of 2011, Android will become the leading OS system with 39.5% of worldwide market share due to their popular royalty-free business model, their partnerships with key global mobile carriers and the popularity of its applications (most of which are free). In order to increase its market share in the smartphone industry, Microsoft must deal with the strategic issue of proving the value of its Windows Phone 7 OS to their ecosystem partners and customers particularly in emerging markets where most of the growth is expected to occur.

Apr 26, 2011

By Benjamin Steinsieck, Vikash Sharma, Erin Keefer, Matthew Miller, Tala Soubra, Clay McCarter

Tradition has it that the main gate at Brown University is opened only twice a year; once in the fall to allow new students to enter the campus, and again in the spring to allow graduating students to pass out into the wider world armed with an education from one of the world’s great universities. But is the notion of the leafy, cloistered university outdated?

On the face of it, many of the world’s most venerable academic institutions haven’t changed much in the last hundred years. But the world certainly has. Technological advances and shifting political climates mean that information and commerce know fewer borders. Today’s college students demand institutions that will prepare them to become residents in this new global community and businesses demand a workforce that is globally intelligent.

Apr 18, 2011

Nestlé_GF_GL-300dpiBy Alan Bright, Judy Buhrman, Jenni Ellingson, Jon Harrop, Marra Longo, Anu Narayan

Switzerland-based Nestlé, SA, touts itself “the world’s leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company.” Their mission, described as “Good Food, Good Life,” is to “provide consumers with the best tasting, most nutritious choices in a wide range of food and beverage categories and eating occasions.”[1] However, their size and global ubiquity is also marked with a checkered past of questionable marketing and sourcing practices in the developing world, which has long made them a target of boycotts by human rights watch-groups. In the 1970’s Nestle gained notoriety for its role in the well-known Nestlé baby formula scandal, in which predatory promotion methods that targeted poor mothers were linked to deaths and malnourishment among infants in lesser-developed countries (LDC’s). More recently, Nestlé has come under fire from groups like the International Labor Rights Fund, Global Exchange, and Green America, for its failure to ensure that its commodities, such as cacao, are purchased from suppliers that do not exploit child labor.[2] In spite of a 2005 pledge to eliminate child labor from their supply chain by 2005, Nestlé’s Chairman and former CEO Peter Brabek-Letmathe recently called such a goal “nearly impossible.”[3] Emerging markets play an increasingly important role in Nestlé’s portfolio and global strategy Nestlé’s vulnerability to public relations attacks – and apparent inability to account for all of their global business practices – is due in part one of their biggest strengths as a global corporation: the flexibility and independence they have accorded to their subsidiary operations in emerging markets.

Apr 18, 2011

Home_brandingUnder Armour (UA) competes in an industry that faces ethical challenges in all operations.  The ethical standards of UA span to all sectors of the business to include the following: product production, manufacturing, operations, and global aspects of the corporation. Yet, UA is leading the way in concurring ethical challenges through successful tactics that make them stand out from competitors.  UA is a market leader, not only in innovation, but in ethical standards, eco-friendly operations, and business practices, throughout the active wear industry.

Athletic Apparel: A Tainted Industry?

True to the apparel industry, active wear has not been immune to labor issues as outsourcing to less developed countries has introduced questionable practices and possible human rights violations.  The lack of environmental and human labor regulations has given the industry a suspect reputation and often times a stigma that, “no news is good news” for the industry’s human labor practices.

Apr 17, 2011

A corporate strategy article by Thunderbird students Antonio Perez Malpica, Amar Memon, Madhavi Rao, Andrew Rivas and Kaleena Rivas

Background

Since their introduction in 1979, mobile phones have been constantly evolving and becoming an integral part of our daily lives. From the first generation of devices based on cellular networks to the introduction of digital technologies like GSM and SMS and all the way to ultra-fast third and fourth generation (4G) networks, mobile phones have become more powerful, have increased their capabilities and have turned into essential devices for consumers around the world.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), in September of 2010 Nokia (Symbian OS) had 40.1% of the worldwide smartphone market share followed by BlackBerry (17.9%), Android (16.3%), and Windows Phone (6.8%). The IDC predicts that by the end of 2011, Android will become the leading OS system with 39.5% of worldwide market share due to their popular royalty-free business model, their partnerships with key global mobile carriers and the popularity of its applications (most of which are free). In order to increase its market share in the smartphone industry, Microsoft must deal with the strategic issue of proving the value of its Windows Phone 7 OS to their ecosystem partners and customers particularly in emerging markets where most of the growth is expected to occur.

Apr 17, 2011

gap-china476A corporate strategy article by Thunderbird students Alistair Booth, Stephen Kill, Adeola Shabiyi and Douglas Stetzer

Tesla caught the eye of the consumer when they released their Roadster in 2008. The Roadster, a true fully electric super car with a practical driving range, boasts a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of less than 4 seconds and can go almost 250 miles on a single charge.[i] Tesla, however, has not been able to turn its buzz or technology into exciting growth. In 2010 Tesla reported annual revenues of $116.7 million, only a 4% increase from 2009 and a net loss of $154.3 million in 2010, almost three times the net loss of 2009.[ii] To maintain operations and development of new products and technologies, Tesla has been able to garner modest investment through venture capital, US government loans, a successful IPO, and investment from competitors and suppliers.

Tesla and its investors are eagerly awaiting the launch of its new luxury Model S in 2012. Tesla has already pre-sold more than 3,000 Model S cars and plans to ramp production up to 20,000 cars a year.[iii] At an average sale price over $50,000, the Model S represents a potential $1bn a year or more of revenue for the company. Investors however, have pegged Tesla’s market cap at $2.3bn and still have doubts about Tesla and the potential success of the Model S.